The Most Fascinating Space Stories of 2015
# 2. The dazzling, decades-in-the making photos of Pluto and its moons by New Horizons spacecraft gave researchers mountains of new data to work with.
The magazineAstronomy has created a list of the top 10, mind-blowing space events of 2015, and is asking readers to vote for the most sublime. Check out the list below and then head to their website to read more and vote:
1. Water was found on a moon of Jupiter (Ganymede) and on one of Saturn’s moons (Enceladus).
2. The dazzling, decades-in-the making photos of Pluto and its moons by New Horizons spacecraft gave researchers mountains of new data to work with.
Photo Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
3. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft’s photos of and data on “dirty snowball” Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko helped shed light on cometary behavior.
4. Discoveries about Supernova 1987A (which exploded in February 1987) concluded that its rings are fading and its high-energy light is plateauing.
5. Using the new telescope Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), astronomers discovered a mysterious, diffuse glow in the center of the Milky Way, leading to four theories on what’s causing the light.
6. Data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) confirmed that flowing water is present on Mars today, not just in the past.
7. Four stars with exactly the same pattern of light were discovered surrounding one of the cluster’s member galaxies—providing data that can help to measure the rate at which our universe is expanding.
8. We still have no idea what dark matter is, but gamma radiation discovered in the galaxy Reticulum II may lead to more clues.
9. Astronomers reported that they had found light from the youngest galaxy cluster yet discovered—dated to have existed when the universe was just about 3.2 billion years old.
10. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft began orbiting Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt lying between Mars and Jupiter, and the data it has recorded continues to shed light on the question of what caused the asteroid’s mysterious spots.